Meet the Scientist: Fang Huang

March 24, 2019

Name: Fang Huang
Title: Professor of Geochemistry
Institution: University of Science and Technology of China
Place of residence: Hefei, Anhui, China


What kind of science do you do?
I am a geochemist. I want to understand how the Earth works and improve our environment using the knowledge of geochemistry.

Why did you choose this field?
The nature of our Earth is beautiful and fascinating. There are many interesting and unknown problems about the Earth and planets. It is always exciting to unravel a few of them.

What's the most interesting place you've ever done field work?
I loved to climb up to the top of the Huangshan Mountain for both great view and science of granites. Granite is the key to understand the formation and evolution of the continental crust. The Huangshan Mountain provides a great opportunity to address this problem. The scenery of the Huangshan Mountain is also impressive.

What are you working on now?
I am currently focusing on metal stable isotope geochemistry. My lab can precisely measure a number of isotope systematics (such as V, Ba, Cu, Cd, and Zn) and apply the novel tools to decipher some fundamental problems of geoscience, such as origin and evolution of the earth and moon, formation of ore-deposits, changes of chemical composition of the atmosphere and ocean, and transport of heavy metals in water and soils. I am also using Sr isotope ratios to trace the origin of Chinese crabs because I want to tell my students that geochemistry could be very delicious.

Any advice for someone starting out in geochemistry?
Go to the field to work and enjoy it.

If you could sit next to anyone on an airplane, who would it be?
It must be President Trump. We can talk about the weather and climate.

What's your favorite city in the world and why?
I love Zurich because my family used to live in Zurich for two years. Zurich has the great ETH, nice people, the finest chocolate, and a really beautiful city view.

What is your favorite downtime activity?
My job is to decipher the natural history, but I love to read historical books about human beings when I am not working.